“This is the second best thing,” Butterfield said about his job as Red Sox’ third base coach.
Butterfield is loved by Red Sox players, especially the infielders who he works with tirelessly to improve their defense.
Hitting coach Greg Colbrunn, unlike most other Red Sox coaches, did have success as a big leaguer, batting .289 in 992 major league games over 13 seasons.
Colbrunn said Rodriguez is a huge help as his assistant because Rodriguez worked with several Red Sox hitters previously in the minors.
“It’s been a great relationship since day one,” Colbrunn said. “I handle more the video, the scouting reports. He’s in the cage (with the players) during the game and before the games.”
The recent trend in baseball is for teams to have two hitting coaches.
“You look back at it, the amount of hours we put in and the amount of hitting that goes on over the course of a day has increased since I was playing,” Colbrunn said. “So to have two coaches and have someone available when these players need it, is extremely important. It’s worked out great.”
Colbrunn and Rodriguez worked together to produce baseball’s top offense during the regular season. The Red Sox led all big league teams with 853 runs.
Rodriguez said about the way he and Colbrunn work together, “I think it was just a matter of understanding and really being on the same page. If we’ve got two cages, we both work (with hitters). If it’s one cage, I mostly do a lot of the cage work. He does a lot of videos while I take care of the physical part of the game. But at the end, we’re all on the same page. It’s all about the players.”
Pitching coach Juan Nieves — who posted a 4.71 ERA in 94 major league outings, including 81 starts and pitched one no-hitter — did an incredible job helping to turn around the Red Sox pitching staff.